This month, for our bi-monthly 24-hour Unhurried Time with God, I took all of my notes from my first spiritual direction certification training. I had two folders packed with worksheets and handwritten notes from multiple lectures. My plan was to read through all of it to remember and glean from all of the spiritual wisdom.
Normally, we tell people to go easy on the content in their unhurried time. However, my intention was to read my notes mindfully so that it wouldn’t feel like an assignment. I knew I would end up with in gratitude and a sense of fullness.
I did, however, completely underestimate how much I could digest reading my notes in a contemplative way. I only made it through one half of one handwritten notebook. I barely scratched the surface. Reading through my notes in a soulful way was a much slower process than I had anticipated.
The time was so rich. I wasn’t overwhelmed so much by memories of the training, as I was in soaking in the goodness of God for how he used these teachings to carry me through the ten years that followed.
What I was taught was like a rototiller, preparing the soil in my soul’s garden. I was ready for what they offered and it truly opened me up to all of the work that followed.
I’ve decided to share with you a few nuggets from my notes. This is a fraction of a percent of the insights I received and I’m sharing the most easily accessible phrases. My hope is that there will be one or two ideas here that may strike you right where you are.
I always love it when people connect, so feel free to share in the comments below which phrase strikes you and why. We would all love to be encouraged by your journey.
- Go over your life story often enough that you can find God in every part of it.
- Repetition moves prayer from head to heart. You appropriate the gifts by practice.
- Contemplation – a time when you know you are loved. I realize now that I have been trying to “do” contemplation. I see now that contemplation is a receiving, not a doing. I get to spend time knowing that I am loved.
- “Let’s remember that we are in God’s holy presence.”
- The opposite of love is control. Show me someone who has given up power and control and I’ll show you someone close to sanctity. “Unless you become like a little child, you will never enter the kingdom of God.”
- Childlike faith requires insatiable curiosity.
- “In the shelter of each other, people live.” (Irish Proverb)
- You are a witness to their story. Don’t just react. The gift we give is presence.
- Love – let the other person be where they need to be.
- You are most beautiful when you are most authentically who God made you to be.
Why don’t you choose one of the phrases above to carry with you today and take time to reflect:
- How does it make you feel?
- How does it increase your view of God?
- How does it open you to others?
Receiving, overflowing, and giving is a great process for life and work.